Researchers in ISER’s Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services  (CBHRS) conducted interviews with individuals who use heroin to explore ways individuals began opioid use and how their use progressed over time. Their report found that few participants began use with heroin but transitioned to heroin due to increased cost and reduced availability of prescription opioids.

Research Professional Jodi Barnett and Research Associate Professor Bridget Hanson report that most participants began with prescription opioids from a provider for pain from injuries or surgeries. Some obtained prescription opioids initially through family members or acquaintances. Most participants began use with heroin due to increased cost and reduced availability of prescription opioids. Findings in the report can inform prevention efforts, including the Partnerships for Success project.

The report is available for download from our online repository.